Emma Watkins is the bright and bubbly yellow Wiggle who brings joy to the lives of children and adults across the globe.
Little did we know that behind her energetic performances, she was battling in silence with the debilitating chronic illness endometriosis.
“I have been in a lot of pain for the past couple of years”, she told the Daily Telegraph.
As a result, Emma has announced she will now have surgery and take some time out from a few of The Wiggles shows, saying the decision was very difficult to make.
1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis in Australia… over 176 million women worldwide.
It affects all aspects of a woman’s life; not just the physical symptoms, but also financial, relationship, emotional and mental health aspects.
Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that is normally present in the lining of the uterus grows outside this layer and causes pain and/or infertility. It can grow anywhere in your body – ovaries, kidneys, uterus, bowel, lungs, heart, even the brain. There is no cure.
Emma joins the list of endo sisters, as more women speak out about their illness. Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmer Emily Seebohm, Lena Dunham and Halsey have openly told their stories.
Emma told the Daily Telegraph. “Put your health first and get a diagnosis so that you are in the best position to managed this crippling disease.”
The average diagnosis time for endometriosis is 7 years with little known about why it occurs, nor is there a cure. I am part of that stat. That 7 years cost thousands of dollars and physically my body went through hell. I would sit in doctors rooms pleading with them to fix me. I would go to emergency and be told the same thing: “here is some pain killers, go and rest.”
I went through stages of “am I crazy?” Talking to other endo warriors this seems to be the ‘norm’ when it comes to diagnosis.
Financially, it costs the Australian society $7.7 billion annually with two thirds of these costs attributed to loss in productivity, with the remainder, approximately $2.5 billion, being direct healthcare costs. Money aside, women are taking their lives because of this illness.
By amazing women like Emma talking openly about her struggle, it creates talk and raises awareness.
If you are struggling with painful periods, then start the conversation with your GP. For more information on endometriosis visit www.endometriosisaustralia.org.au
If you are concerned about your own wellbeing, are experiencing a personal crisis or are concerned about someone else, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or at www.lifeline.org.au